Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mattar Pulav (Fragrant Basmati Rice Pilaf With Fresh Peas)

Matar Pulav With Minty Chopped Salad
Fresh peas are showcased in this saffron-scented mild pulav! A simple and easy recipe, awesome accompanied by succulent Chopped Salad, roasted papadums, chutneys or pickles. Most saucy curries are delicious served alongside -  try Okra (Bindi)-Capsicum Salaan, Aviyal, Korma, any bean dishes like Chole or Rajma, etc. If fresh ones are not an option, use frozen or cooked rehydrated dried peas.

Keep the chiles whole for a mild pulav and fish them out and discard before serving; another option is to core and mince the chiles, or use a bell pepper. Keep the core and seeds for a spicy dish.
Do add the mint and cilantro for a delicious pulav; when cooked, mint imparts a lovely mellow flavor.
If you wish the peas to remain bright green, saute them in a tiny bit of oil and a sprinkling of water if needed; cook stirring and shaking uncovered for just a couple of minutes or until done to your taste. Season with a pinch of salt and add to the rice before serving.

6-8 Servings


1½ cups Basmati Rice
3 cups boiling water
2 Tbsp Oil
½ tsp Fennel Seeds
½ tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Cloves
2-3 Cardamom Pods
1" piece Cinnamon
2-3 Bay leaves
A few of turns of the Pepper mill for freshly ground Pepper
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
3-5 young Green chiles OR 1 small Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 tsp Freshly grated Ginger
1½ tsp Salt
1 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp ground Kashmiri Chile OR Paprika
3-4 Tbsp Mint leaves, finely sliced in a chiffonade
4 Tbsp fresh Coriander/Cilantro, include stems and leaves, chopped
1 pinch Saffron
2 cups Green Peas, freshly shelled

4 Tbsp toasted, chopped Cashews OR Almonds
A few sprigs Mint & Cilantro


Wash and soak the rice in plenty of fresh water for 30 minutes. 

Drain and rinse the rice.

Soak the saffron in a little warm water - about 2 tablespoons - in a small bowl. 

Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid (a 3-4 quart/liter size will work nicely); swirl to coat the bottom of the pan with oil. When the oil is hot, stir in fennel & cumin seeds, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf and let the spices sizzle for about 30 seconds. Stir in the ground pepper.

Tip the onion into the pan and cook until onions are translucent and soft.

Add the green chiles/bell pepper, ginger and cook for about one or two minutes.

Stir in the ground coriander, garam masala and salt and carefully add the boiling water. 

Add the rice, stir to mix well, and bring back to a boil.

Distribute the cilantro and mint evenly over the rice on top.

Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan with a well fitting lid and cook the pulav undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, drizzle saffron water along with any strands of saffron, sprinkle the peas on top, cover again and let rest for 10 minutes.

Gently fluff the rice. Garnish with the nuts and herbs, serve hot with your favorite accompaniments. Enjoy!!

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